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Old 08-04-2016, 09:38 AM   #1
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Tow Button on Transmission - On or Off

I have a 2017 Forester built on a 2016 Ford E450 with a V10 and I pull a dolly with a 2014 Ford Escape loaded on it.

The guy at the dealership said no need to put the tow button in the ON possession unless I am headed to the mountains.

I decided to have it in the ON position whenever I tow my car ... is this the right decision?
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:45 AM   #2
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That's what I do. I'm towing, it's in tow mode.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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If I am towing the Tow Haul is engaged.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:05 AM   #4
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If I am towing the Tow Haul is engaged.
Yep.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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Towing means tow button on for me
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:11 AM   #6
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For me, it depends on the driving that I'm doing. On the interstate in hilly or flat terrain, I tend to leave it off. I don't like it when I tap my brakes going downhill and the trans downshifts to 4k+ rpms, when I really don't need to trans brake. If I'm in the mountains, I generally always have it on, towing or not.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:40 AM   #7
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I don't use tow/haul unless I am traffic or on a grade and need the braking assistance. I don't notice any difference in power either empty or towing my Corolla. Tow mode in my opinion makes the shifting points too high for normal driving.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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Tow is for towing.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpPI View Post
I have a 2017 Forester built on a 2016 Ford E450 with a V10 and I pull a dolly with a 2014 Ford Escape loaded on it.

The guy at the dealership said no need to put the tow button in the ON possession unless I am headed to the mountains.

I decided to have it in the ON position whenever I tow my car ... is this the right decision?
I've learned to never listen to "guys at the dealership "
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AquaMan View Post
For me, it depends on the driving that I'm doing. On the interstate in hilly or flat terrain, I tend to leave it off. I don't like it when I tap my brakes going downhill and the trans downshifts to 4k+ rpms, when I really don't need to trans brake. If I'm in the mountains, I generally always have it on, towing or not.
Exactly! Pull in a lot of steep grade mountainous areas and once I'm down to third gear I disengage the T/Haul because I don't want another down shift that I'm not controlling. Otherwise I tend to use it when I'm towing.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:15 PM   #11
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If it were me I would read the ford manual for an F450 chassis. My Ford expedition manual specifically says to leave the tow mode off unless the transmission is downshifting excessively or in hilly terrain, even when towing.

So I leave the tow mode off unless i see the tranny bouncing in and out of OD.

With this being a motorhome, you have quite a bit of frontal area to overcome wind resistance in just the RV itself, which is also referred to in the manual, so towing with it on is probably not a bad idea.

Main thing is just make sure its not bouncing back and forth between gears. If it takes being in tow mode to do that, then do that.

My $.02
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:15 PM   #12
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For 4 years we pulled our trailer in "d" never used tow haul. Tried it and the P P M jumped way up, gas went way down.. just drive at 60, and let it slow down at inclines, it will catch up,on down hill side .if trans tries to downshift, just let up on gas. Keep a steady RPM, unless you have an oil well in back yard, or won the lottery...
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:20 PM   #13
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I live in the mountains of Idaho and ONLY use the two/haul button on steep grades. Downhill it keeps your brakes working.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:00 PM   #14
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Shift Points

Hi,

What happens when you push the Tow Button, the computer changes the Transmission Shift Points to help when you when you are pulling a grade or a hill.

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Old 08-04-2016, 01:01 PM   #15
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I agree with Foretm. Tow mode just turns off the axle shift (OD) so unless it is bouncing your fuel use will be better not using it.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:24 PM   #16
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My two cents....When towing my Jeep Wrangler, I use the tow haul mode when descending steep grades or if I'm pulling a steep grade...
If I'm on flat roads, the OD kicks in and off we go.... most roads and small hills is just fine on regular mode... When you hit the passes or really steep climbs, gas mileage is out the window anyway... so why worry about it?.
Keep an eye on the RPM's and the Temps... then just roll on.
You probably didn't buy a motorhome for fuel mileage anyway.
The tow haul mode really bothers me on small hills or at the bottom of the big ones that I just went down... The tranny doesn't know that you want fuel and won't hardly shift normally until you take it out... at least that's how it is on my FR3 30DS. So I when I climb a hill in tow mode, I will go down the other side in tow mode... at the bottom I disengage the tow haul and resume normal operation unless there is another big hill in front of me...
You'll find out what works for you... then just do what you want when you want to do it...

The most important thing is to have fun in the process...
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:49 PM   #17
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The owners' manual will let you know. I know my truck says not to use it on the interstate, doing normal highway speeds. It also says to be sure to use it in slow/stop-and-go traffic and when accelerating from slower speeds. I usually turn it off, when I get into overdrive and then turn it back on, when on the off ramp after I am down to about 45mph. Lastly, the manual says to use the towing mode in the mountains, but not when the truck is back up to highway speeds (I took that to mean in the plateaus between steep areas).

A wee bit confusing at first, but after towing with it a few times, I could tell when I needed to use it and when I didn't.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:11 PM   #18
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One thing to remember, tow/haul has different effects and usage between gas trucks, diesel trucks, and motorhomes. I've had all three and each had their own individual use circumstances. To say that, if you're towing you should use it, doesn't really apply to the heavier duty trans.


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Old 08-04-2016, 02:31 PM   #19
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I had this discussion with the Ford rep at the FROG Rally last year. Tow/Haul will smooth transmission shifts and engage more aggressive downshift when going down hill and braking. In other words it will limit the number of shifts the transmission makes when trying to find the right gear for optimum mpg and downshift to aid in braking. This is for the V10 motorhome chassis, this would be different for other manufacturers and motor drive train configurations. He said you might see a slight drop in mpg with tow/haul engaged but would definitely help in downhill and braking situations. Use as you see fit.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:36 PM   #20
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One thing to remember, tow/haul has different effects and usage between gas trucks, diesel trucks, and motorhomes.
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Yes, indeed AND year to year in the same make/model.
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